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Four Newton County public schools have been named Title I High Progress Reward Schools according to information released from the Georgia Department of Education. Heard-Mixon Elementary, Porterdale Elementary, Alcovy High and Newton High have received this prestigious designation.

A High-Progress Reward School is among the top ten percent of Title I schools in the State that are making the most progress in improving the performance of the “all students” group over a number of years on the statewide assessments, and, at the high school level, among the top ten percent of Title I schools in the State that are making the most progress in increasing graduation rates.  A school may not be classified as a high-progress school if there are significant achievement gaps across subgroups that are not closing in the school.

All Reward Schools will serve as models for schools with similar demographics and may be contacted by other school districts for information or site visits. In addition, as a Title I Reward School, each school will receive a certificate of recognition, a flag and a plaque to display. Each of the schools will also receive a monetary award of $3,000.

Reward Schools may use their Academic Achievement Award funds to provide teachers and staff bonuses and/or to purchase instructionally related supplies and services for the school.

“Our schools continue to make academic progress as we’re reminded of this, once again, by the Georgia Department of Education with this latest 2013 recognition of two of our elementary schools and two of our high schools,” said Gary Mathews, Superintendent of Newton County School System. “Congratulations are certainly in order for our most recent awardees, especially as they are “beat the odds” schools given their Title I designation based on free and reduced lunch count.  Their continued progress is important to their respective sites as well as to the school system and community-as-a-whole.   So far, in this 2012-13 school year, we have had six different schools recognized for their academic progress—Heard-Mixon, Newton County Theme School at Ficquett, Porterdale, Alcovy High (twice), Eastside, and Newton High.  All of this is on the heels of last year’s 2012 notables which saw still other NCSS schools earning state recognition for academic progress inclusive of Flint Hill, South Salem, Livingston, Rocky Plains, Indian Creek, and Liberty as well as Heard-Mixon, Newton County Theme School at Ficquett, Porterdale, and all three of our high schools including the AAA state academic champions EHS.  Our faculty has to be pleased, too, with the school system’s overall progress on Georgia assessments as last 2012-13 school year saw improvement in 7 of 8 high school end-of-course tests outperforming the state for the first time in 5 of 8 tests.  In the elementary and middle grades, NCSS has demonstrated improvement in 22 of 30 instances for each of the last two school years for a 73% improvement clip.”

For more information, contact Ms. Sherri Davis-Viniard, director of public relations for Newton County Schools at